Fifth Sunday of Easter

Posted: May 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

New for All Ages: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Readings:

Acts 14:21-27
Psalm 145:8-13
Revelation 21:1-5
John 13:31-35

By God’s goodness and compassion, the doors of His kingdom have been opened to all who have faith, Jew or Gentile.

That’s the good news Paul and Barnabas proclaim in today’s First Reading. With the coming of the Church—the new Jerusalem John sees in today’s Second Reading—God is “making all things new.”
In His Church, the “old order” of death is passing away and God for all time is making His dwelling with the human race, so that all peoples “will be His people and God Himself will always be with them.” In this the promises made through His prophets are accomplished (see Ezekiel 37:27; Isaiah 25:8; 35:10).

The Church is “the kingdom for all ages” that we sing of in today’s Psalm. That’s why we see the Apostles, under the guidance of the Spirit, ordaining “presbyters” or priests (see 1 Timothy 4:14; Titus 1:5).

Anointed priests and bishops will be the Apostles’ successors, ensuring that the Church’s “dominion endures through all generations” (see Philippians 1:1, note that the New American Bible translates episcopois, the Greek word for bishops, as “overseers”).

Until the end of time, the Church will declare to the world God’s mighty deeds, blessing His holy name and giving Him thanks, singing of the glories of His kingdom.
In His Church, we know ourselves as His “faithful ones,” as those Jesus calls “My little children” in today’s Gospel. We live by the new law, the “new commandment” that He gave in His final hours.
The love He commands of us is no human love but a supernatural love. We love each other as Jesus loved us in suffering and dying for us. We love in imitation of His love.
This kind of love is only made possible by the Spirit poured into our hearts at Baptism (see Romans 5:5), renewed in the sacrifice His priests offer in every Mass.

By our love we glorify the Father. And by our love all peoples will know that we are His people, that He is our God.

My… Oh my…

Posted: May 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

You would think by now that with a few years of experience, a faith that is quite strong I would not be subject to fear and feelings of inadequacy. Well you and I would both be wrong!

I have been approached twice by two different ministries to take the lead in two separate spiritual matters. I had agreed to both and now wonder how will I be able to deliver that will bring glory to the Lord? Can I feed His sheep and lambs the way I’m expected to? Can I give my all, more so in terms of time?

Yes I know if I remain steadfast in prayer, faith and in His love, He will be there to guide and strengthen me. Thing is I will need prayers not just my own to remain so……

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

If God our Father is dwelling in our heart, then by and by we become one with Him. This is most profoundly experienced at Holy Eucharist, where through the body and blood of Lord Jesus Christ we are one in Holy Communion with our one triune God; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Living a life of Holiness and in the Spirit we are endowed with special gifts to bring His light to all nations. We are empowered to face any obstacles and challenges unafraid for we know God is on our side. God our Father is greater than anyone! Through his Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we will glorify Him through our deeds. We will bear much fruit, fruit that will last.

The weight of the world will not wear us down, for we live in the joy of our Risen Lord filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:44-52 †
Since you have rejected the word of God, we must turn to the pagans

The next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:

I have made you a light for the nations,
so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’

It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Gospel

John 14:7-14
To have seen me is to have seen the father

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father, so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask for anything in my name,
I will do it.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The Gospel of texts of today is often used at Christian Funerals and it gives hope to those who have lost a dearly beloved one. But above all it holds a promise for all of us. That those of us who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ are assured of new life with Him. For He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life! And He will come to lead us home.

Therefore we Catholics hold Christmas, Good Friday and Easter dear to our hearts because they remind us of the great and everlasting love of God that has been poured out upon us all;through the life, death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So dear sisters and brothers in Christ, are we not living joyful lives after the fact? Or have we allowed the world to rob us of this joy with its many distractions and the lure of instant gratification of our bodily senses? Let us never forget we are children of an almighty and loving God our Father, who will never abandon us when we turn to Him. Let us therefore remain steadfast in His love for we know we will never lose our way if we but follow Him, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ Jesus. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:26-33 †
God has fulfilled his promise by raising Jesus from the dead

Paul stood up in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you. What the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did, though they did not realise it, was in fact to fulfil the prophecies read on every sabbath. Though they found nothing to justify his death, they condemned him and asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree and buried him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem: and it is these same companions of his who are now his witnesses before our people.
‘We have come here to tell you the Good News. It was to our ancestors that God made the promise but it is to us, their children, that he has fulfilled it, by raising Jesus from the dead. As scripture says in the second psalm: You are my son: today I have become your father.’

Gospel

John 14:1-6
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place,I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.’

On Serving As A…

Posted: May 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Let us dwell a little in the love of God our Father. Let us hear the words of St Paul as He speaks about our salvation history, yes not just the salvation of our elder brothers the Jews but us, for He our Lord came to be a light of all nations! At the very end of that eloquent address we are reminded of our very own baptism, of how we have entered into divine sonship and daughterhood of God our Father through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Through our Baptism our Lord has touched us and cleansed us from all sin. From the top of our head to our feet we are prepared by the outpouring of His love and grace to be likewise, a light for all nations. He shows us how by His example of washing the feet of His disciples. We too who have been made worthy of being called His disciples are to wash the feet of one another. Bending the knee if need be, for love and service of Him and brethren. Let us be dutiful and faithful servants whose love of our Lord leads us to greater Holiness; as we continue our pilgrim journey back home into eternal life with Him.

Praise and glory be to our Risen Lord. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 13:13-25
God has raised up one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour

Paul and his friends went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to synagogue on the sabbath and took their seats. After the lessons from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message: ‘Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.’ Paul stood up, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out, and for about forty years took care of them in the wilderness. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’

Gospel

John 13:16-20
Whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me

After he had washed the feet of his disciples, Jesus said to them:

‘I tell you most solemnly,no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the man who sent him.

‘Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly. I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what scripture says must be fulfilled: Someone who shares my table rebels against me.

‘I tell you this now, before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe that I am He.
I tell you most solemnly, whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

God our Father could have condemned the world for its many heinous sins and all of us would have perished for all eternity. To have a glimpse into why He did not rightfully do so, we must enter into the depths of His heart. For it was love He created us and it is for love of us He saved us. The most visible sign of that love is His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who hung on the cross and died so that we might live. Light entered into the world when He was born and by His Resurrection light brilliantly burst forth to cast all shadows of darkness into oblivion!

We then who live in the light of Christ have a duty to share the joy of His life, death and Resurrection;so that every man, woman and child can live in His peace, love and joy. To preach repentance of all sin, the mercy, love and embrace that Christ our Lord offers and union with Him for all eternity.

O Holy Spirit teach and guide me always to walk in the light of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that I may speak of His love this and everyday. Amen

First reading

Acts 12:24-13:5 †
‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart’

The word of God continued to spread and to gain followers. Barnabas and Saul completed their task and came back from Jerusalem, bringing John Mark with them.
In the church at Antioch the following were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.’ So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
So these two, sent on their mission by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. They landed at Salamis and proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; John acted as their assistant.

Gospel

John 12:44-50
I, the light, have come into the world

Jesus declared publicly:

‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me
but in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me.
I, the light, have come into the world,
so that whoever believes in me need not stay in the dark any more.
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I have come not to condemn the world, but to save the world.
He who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me, and I know that his commands mean eternal life.
And therefore what the Father has told me
is what I speak.’